My vacation time is now nearing a close, and I will be back to work next week. Autumn is nearing, with the familiar stillness, and sense of preparedness I often notice in the air. I often find I hear more calls of crows as fall grows closer, I wonder if they begin flocking nearby for fall migration as the days grow shorter. I have usually associated hearing more crows and geese as a sign of fall, not sure why.
Fall often feels like a time of pulling together, and preparing for school and routine - new books, pencils, new clothes - a sense of newness and anticipation.
Here in our household Paul, my son is engaged in preparations to intern as a high school science teacher - with a similar sense of excitement and hopefulness.
I look forward to returning to my work at the daycare center where I work, as our children who start kindergarten will be filled with excitement, and preparations for their start of school, and this is always fun to observe and be apart of. And with my own small 2 year old group - I will be greeting even younger ones "moving up" to my group, and I always enjoy helping them settle, and be comfortable. I find before long these little ones have started developing their own set of rules, routines, and favourite activities. Each group, each year is a different group - and it is so interesting to me to watch this develop. It's a privilege to see young children grow, learn. and start on the path of who they are.
And of course there are the familiar themes and art associated with autumn (even though early childhood education has now changed so that most plans and programs are more open, and less structured - I still enjoy offering some of the more traditional fall art and activities, although in a more flexible, open way) - tasting apples; making apple pie; reading about harvest; scarecrows; gathering fall leaves and gluing them to paper; pressing leaves in wax paper; painting at the easel in glowing reds, oranges, and gold; shopping for the perfect pumpkin; making pumpkin pie; singing fall songs.. autumn offers so many wonderful opportunities to experience beauty, awe, and celebration!
I'm enjoying reading several books at this time.
The Forest Horses by Byrna Barclay, a local Regina author, is a wonderful novel. The story follows the main character as she explores her family's past and takes the reader back in time to wartime Russia, and the seige of Leningrad; and returns to modern day Russia, and Saskatchewan. It's a good read, and very well written. Bryna Barclay is an award winning author, who also was a recipient of the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2005. I'm so glad I've discovered her writing.
I'm enjoying a book on one of my favourite topics - crows. In the past I've read several good books on crows. Two of my favourites were Bird Brains, by Candace Savage, 1995; and Crows, Ravens, and Magpies by Tony Angell, 1978. I've found another favourite book at the library - Crows and Ravens, by John Marzluff, and Tony Angell, 2005. Tony Angell is an artist and his books are graced with his wonderful illustrations of these fine birds.
I think I have a personal affinity with crows, for some reason - I believe I must have been amazed and in awe by their calls - I was a child who spent quite a lot of time outside, often on my own, thinking, pondering, and just scuffing my feet in our dusty back lane. I would actually just sit against the fences in the backlane, daydreaming and observing - my parents had a difficult marriage, and this was my refuge. I think the call of the crow just resonated in my soul for some reason.
I do plan to write in celebration of crows here, once I've finished my "research", and brought my thoughts together in a more comprehensible way. :)
Lastly, I'm reading a Dale Carnegie book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. This is a an old, time tested classic - and I've never read it, but my son recommended it to me - and I'm loving it. Dale Carnegie writes in an easy to read way; is very humble himself and provides some easy to learn guidelines for getting along with people. I often noticed it on bookshelves, but thought of him as out of date. However his wisdom seems timeless, and I'm finding I can certainly use his advice today.
Hoping and wishing you will have a wonderful, leisurely weekend wherever you are!